No, we’re not floating away

Ever since I got back from the USA on July 20, it has rained. Every day, or almost every day. Yes, it is the rainy season, which in the parts of the Philippines I frequent runs roughly from June to October. There was a typhoon this week, but it traversed across our island, Luzon, on a fairly straight east-west course 6-8 hours north of us here in Tagaytay. But I think that typhoon is long gone, and we still get rain every day. Sometimes the rain is light. Sometimes it is very heavy. Sometimes it rains all day or all night or both. More often it rains during some parts of the day and night.

There are many areas in the Philippines where flooding occurs quite often. Tagaytay is not one of them, as we are perched on a mountaintop 600 meters above sea level. But to me, it seems amazing nevertheless that our house doesn’t float away. Especially since, from the outside the back of the house does look a little bit like a ship.

How can the ground absorb so much water, repeatedly? Apparently it’s not a problem here. Everything gets greener and more lush, which is nice. This week we asked the man who usually works at the house next door to come and clean our pool and trim the yard on Tuesday. Tuesday it was raining very hard all day. And Wednesday. And Thursday. On Friday he must have had some kind of premonition, as he and his wife both showed up early and worked all day, until about 4 pm, when it started raining very hard. How did he know the rain would come late on Friday? I have no clue.

I’ve done some feeble research online into the levels of precipitation here. As usual, weather data on Tagaytay is readily available but mostly worthless. As I’ve noted before, almost every site that shows weather data for Tagaytay notes in the fine print that the data was collected at Manila airport, where the weather is about as close to Tagaytay as Southern California weather is to San Francisco. However, I found this page, which has 3 nice graphs summarizing historical weather patterns in Tagaytay:,tagaytay,Philippines

And this page, which predicts it will keep raining every day for the next two weeks (no, I’m not surprised):

This page has a nice brief summary of weather patterns in the Philippines and when it’s good to visit, with nice pictures:

However, if you haven’t been to the Philippines yet, I’d suggest you ignore what it says on that page about places other than Manila. Most of the places they mention are not likely places you’d visit on your first trip here, unless you have family or friends in those areas.

I’m still frankly very happy with the weather here in Tagaytay. At least it’s not unbearably hot that often. I can take some rain. What I don’t want is extremes – way too hot, way too cold, winds or rain of hurricane force all the time, lots of snow, etc. Tagaytay offers none of those so far, but then again August is historically the month with the most rain, so we’ll see how that goes.

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  • robin yates  On July 30, 2011 at 9:22 am

    last september 26 last year was when Ondoy arrived,,,,,,,35 hours of torrential nonstop rain

  • Zvi Enav  On July 31, 2011 at 5:16 am

    Hi Barry, I started reading your BLOG a couple of months ago when I had done a Google search on Cost of Living in the Philippines. When I read that, I realized we were going to be neighbors in Tagaytay. I’m an Israeli/American/Hong Konger married to a wonderful Filipina lady for the past 10 years (met in HK), with a 4 year old daughter who I am repeatedly told is very cute and vivacious (luckily she looks like her mother). We recently bought a lot in Tagaytay Highlands and as of July 1st we moved in to a rented condo there which is about 10 minutes walk from our lot on which we will soon start to build. When I read your BLOG to my wife, she got very excited because she said to me that if Barry and Dindin are gay, they must know all the good places in tagaytay to go shopping and I want to meet them! (I hope this is taken with the Filipino Humor that was intended!). Anyway, I’m still “on the road” too much between Hong Kong and Tagaytay but would definitely want to get togther soon in Tagaytay (maybe Bag of Beans – the coffee is really great and the bread – which I should stay away from – is fantastic). My email is: and I have signed up for your BLOG and look forward to hearing back from you and eventually meeting your family with my family! Best, Zvi

  • Barry C. Saiff  On July 31, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Yes, I remember hearing about Ondoy, Robin.
    Zvi, great to hear from you, neighbor. I’ve been to Tagaytay Highlands. I’ll email you separately.

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